A predictable plot reveals emotional complexities.


A marriage falls apart in 1970s Montana.

Laura is angry. Her husband, Ed, a behavioral psychiatrist, has taken a position as superintendent of a mental institution in Boulder, Montana, forcing their move from Michigan, where she was pursuing her career as an artist. She is angry, too, because he works all the time; she feels ignored; and, worse, he is obsessed with one patient, Penelope, a beautiful, intelligent 16-year-old epileptic. Angry, jealous wife; workaholic, sexually voracious husband; tempting young woman: Reeves (Work Like Any Other, 2016) plays out this well-worn triangle in chapters that shift between Laura’s first-person narration and a third-person narration that's close to Ed's perspective, arriving at a twist that finally moves the novel beyond cliché to become a sensitive examination of love, responsibility, and compassion. Ed, who frequents prostitutes for “simple pleasures and anonymity,” is stereotypically self-absorbed. Laura espouses a familiar plaint, tearfully admitting to feeling “lonely and trapped and so angry and then so sad, and he couldn’t see that I was disappearing, that I needed him.” Struggling to define herself, she secretly takes a job at a clothing boutique; when she becomes pregnant, she keeps that a secret, too, for four months. “Why the hell did it take you so long to notice?” she asks angrily when Ed finally does notice, as they are having sex in a locked classroom at the hospital. Trying to make Laura feel validated, Ed convinces her to teach art to some patients—and against her objections insists that Penelope take the class. Predictably, the girl proves to be impressively talented, producing, Laura sees, “an artist’s sketch, as good as anything I could do,” and intensifying her jealousy. Ed, innovating a policy of deinstitutionalizing high-functioning patients, sends Penelope back to her disgruntled parents, precipitating a crisis that changes his life and her own. The biggest change, though, is Ed’s fate, forcing the man who has only observed suffering to find himself—and Laura—at its vortex.

A predictable plot reveals emotional complexities.

Pub Date: May 14, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-5011-8350-8

Page Count: 304

Publisher: Scribner

Review Posted Online: Feb. 4, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2019

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

Hoover is one of the freshest voices in new-adult fiction, and her latest resonates with true emotion, unforgettable...

Reader Votes

  • Readers Vote
  • 10

Our Verdict

  • Our Verdict
  • GET IT

  • New York Times Bestseller


Sydney and Ridge make beautiful music together in a love triangle written by Hoover (Losing Hope, 2013, etc.), with a link to a digital soundtrack by American Idol contestant Griffin Peterson. 

Hoover is a master at writing scenes from dual perspectives. While music student Sydney is watching her neighbor Ridge play guitar on his balcony across the courtyard, Ridge is watching Sydney’s boyfriend, Hunter, secretly make out with her best friend on her balcony. The two begin a songwriting partnership that grows into something more once Sydney dumps Hunter and decides to crash with Ridge and his two roommates while she gets back on her feet. She finds out after the fact that Ridge already has a long-distance girlfriend, Maggie—and that he's deaf. Ridge’s deafness doesn’t impede their relationship or their music. In fact, it creates opportunities for sexy nonverbal communication and witty text messages: Ridge tenderly washes off a message he wrote on Sydney’s hand in ink, and when Sydney adds a few too many e’s to the word “squee” in her text, Ridge replies, “If those letters really make up a sound, I am so, so glad I can’t hear it.” While they fight their mutual attraction, their hope that “maybe someday” they can be together playfully comes out in their music. Peterson’s eight original songs flesh out Sydney’s lyrics with a good mix of moody musical styles: “Living a Lie” has the drama of a Coldplay piano ballad, while the chorus of “Maybe Someday” marches to the rhythm of the Lumineers. But Ridge’s lingering feelings for Maggie cause heartache for all three of them. Independent Maggie never complains about Ridge’s friendship with Sydney, and it's hard to even want Ridge to leave Maggie when she reveals her devastating secret. But Ridge can’t hide his feelings for Sydney long—and they face their dilemma with refreshing emotional honesty. 

Hoover is one of the freshest voices in new-adult fiction, and her latest resonates with true emotion, unforgettable characters and just the right amount of sexual tension.

Pub Date: March 18, 2014

ISBN: 978-1-4767-5316-4

Page Count: 384

Publisher: Atria

Review Posted Online: May 7, 2014

Did you like this book?

The emotions run high, the conversations run deep, and the relationships ebb and flow with grace.


When tragedy strikes, a mother and daughter forge a new life.

Morgan felt obligated to marry her high school sweetheart, Chris, when she got pregnant with their daughter, Clara. But she secretly got along much better with Chris’ thoughtful best friend, Jonah, who was dating her sister, Jenny. Now her life as a stay-at-home parent has left her feeling empty but not ungrateful for what she has. Jonah and Jenny eventually broke up, but years later they had a one-night stand and Jenny got pregnant with their son, Elijah. Now Jonah is back in town, engaged to Jenny, and working at the local high school as Clara’s teacher. Clara dreams of being an actress and has a crush on Miller, who plans to go to film school, but her father doesn't approve. It doesn’t help that Miller already has a jealous girlfriend who stalks him via text from college. But Clara and Morgan’s home life changes radically when Chris and Jenny are killed in an accident, revealing long-buried secrets and forcing Morgan to reevaluate the life she chose when early motherhood forced her hand. Feeling betrayed by the adults in her life, Clara marches forward, acting both responsible and rebellious as she navigates her teenage years without her father and her aunt, while Jonah and Morgan's relationship evolves in the wake of the accident. Front-loaded with drama, the story leaves plenty of room for the mother and daughter to unpack their feelings and decide what’s next.

The emotions run high, the conversations run deep, and the relationships ebb and flow with grace.

Pub Date: Dec. 10, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-5420-1642-1

Page Count: 400

Publisher: Montlake Romance

Review Posted Online: Oct. 14, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 2019

Did you like this book?